I am sure if you are a parent of an autistic child you have posed the same question to yourself more then just once…
“Did I miss the signs of Autism?”
I have often thought back and searched my memory to see if there were signs early on that my son was on the spectrum. I don’t recall him making poor eye contact, I don’t remember his speech being delayed or his attention being focused on one thing a little too long. I’ve been asked questions similar to these over and over. Ever meeting we attended for Lincoln’s diagnoses, the same questions, the same feeling of dread that I missed something, the same responses..”no, not really. No, I did not notice, No typical…hitting all milestones…”
MADDENING! really. I felt like an oblivious bubblehead. Careless, a failure.
Today, because I noticed the ancient VCR was still plugged in to the TV ( my Husband had brought it down so our thoughtful Nanny could watch the old school wrestling tape she brought for the kids) I decided to dig out the tapes of Lincoln at 6 month to a year and review them for something I missed.
The first scene opened with a chubby, alert 5 month old. He is following my voice, and what I assume my face, and smiling and cooing like crazy. His little hands and feet dance with joy as he grins and he snaps his head to locate his Dad as he speaks. His eye move to the voices as they talk. Move to the mobile as it turns on, he rolls over and looks up again and reached for the camera.
Fast forward to a few months later, a giggling 8 month old laying on the bed with his Mom and dog. He watches the dog as he brings a toy, he grabs for an ear and tugs. He grabs his toes, grips his Mom’s hand, turns when she speaks his name….
10 months old, he is tottering about the room, exploring this and that, moving toys from here to there…He freezes when he hears him Mom coming, and he turns and looks at the hallway. He starts to bounce and gooble. “ga gag Moom mum!” He is calling to her.
At Christmas standing in line waiting to see Santa- he is imploring, his eyes searching his parents face, he is curious and smiles sweetly.
It was only one tape, and old VHS, not really important but it gave me reassurance that I didn’t miss the fact my son needed a little extra help.
Someone asked me the other day if I thought immunizations effected my son, or caused his impairment. I answered without thinking “No”.
I stand behind that.
I do not believe anything changed in my son, but I do feel that perhaps he had the genetic makeup that was capable of causing these differences in thinking and behavior.
My son had a very bad viral infection and high fever just before his 2nd birthday. I have nothing to substantiate it, but I believe this trauma to his little system might have caused his Autism.
No body knows why Autism occurs, and there is no cure…would I want one if there was?
My Son’s Educational assistant ran into me yesterday at grocery store and gushed about how much she is enjoying him. She felt he was funny, and sweet and smart.
He is so very different then his 3 brothers but it is a refreshing difference and I love him even more because if it.
Somedays I thank Autism for effecting him.
I don’t claim to NOT hate Autism other days, I do, I LOATHE it at times. I curse it, grumble it’s name, full mental block it.
Parents, don’t beat yourself up.
Some of your children will present from the get go, some won’t.
You will seek help when your child needs it. It is instinctual to do so. Trust in yourself and know you child will trust you too.